I am from Scotland, my wife from Cambodia. We are the owners of a family owned and run pepper farm in Kampot Province, southern Cambodia.
We commenced planting in 2012 and brought in our first harvest of wonderful Kampot Pepper in 2015. We have a small shop in Kampot Town and, with the help of our first volunteers, have now also opened a small vistor centre at the farm for tourists wishing to learn more about how the world's best pepper is grown.
The farm is located 20km east of Kampot Town and about 17km north of the Kep, often considered to be Cambodia's "Riviera". It is a gorgeous place with forested hills behind us and panoramic views to the sea, Phu Quoc Island and Bokor Mountain. The elevation means cool breezes for most of the year.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
As a volunteer you will enjoy an emersive cultural exchange with real Cambodian rural people, will learn about life on a farm and about how the world's best pepper is grown. In addition you will have a chance to hone your customer relations and marketing skills while meeting people from all over the world.
The main assistance needed is with meeting and greeting tourists and guiding them around the plantation, explaining the traditional techniques used to grow and process Kampot Pepper.
Volunteers may also be able to spend a little time at our shop in Kampot Town assisting our local staff with meeting and greeting customers, explaining pepper production to them and answering questions. They can also assist with pepper sorting (quality control) and packaging, depending on the season.
On the farming front, volunteers will be working together with the family and staff in pepper production. Depending on the time of year that you come, that could include preparing the land and infrastructure for planting, planting the saplings, irrigation, fertilising, general farm maintenance and, if between February and May, harvesting.
Our volunteer programme is in the early development phase. We have a few projects underway but more planned, and are open to new good ideas. We would very much like to find a volunteer willing to stay with us longer and help us to further develop the volunteer programme. We also welcome volunteers with specialist skills such as electrical, plumbing, welding and other building knowhow to share with our local staff.
Right now we have some infrastructure projects underway which which I hope our volunteers will enjoy participating in. Amongst these are: building hammock huts and a floating pontoon for visitors to the farm to enjoy; landscaping and planting of gardens; construction of chicken runs and coups; extending our sorting houses and drying areas for the pepper. In all cases, volunteers will be working alongside the farm workers, each side sharing their knowledge, skills and ideas.
Accommodation is simple, living in a traditional Khmer wooden stilt house with bunkbeds or mattress on the floor, and shared bathroom. Meals are taken together with farm workers (mostly relatives of ours) and you will have the chance to contribute to the cooking if you wish. They will be happy to teach you Khmer countryside cuisine!
The area is beautiful for exploring by motorcyle or bicycle (we have some mountain bikes available). The coast is close by with white sand islands offshore. We do have a few mountain bikes for use by volunteers, but those who wish to explore more might be advised to rent a motorbike from Kampot Town ($4 per day) and bring it with them to the farm.
Kampot Town is a lively hub with many bars and restaurants. The Kampot River provides kayaking and standup paddle boarding, river cruises, fishing, swimming... there is even a zip line. One of our friends runs a kite surfing school. At the farm there is a swimming pool at our home that volunteers can use in the evenings.
Please note that Cambodians eat more fish per head of population than any other race, and they struggle to understand people who won't eat meat! If you need a special diet then you may have to do some food sourcing and cooking by yourselves. We are certainly not in a position to provide special meals for fussy eaters!! We do have a kitchen at the visitor centre that volunteers can use and we do grow vegetables, so all is not lost if you are vegetarian. Best to be flexible. Vegans need not apply.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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